Introduction

Improve your understanding of the legal implications of generating and commercialising innovation, creativity, and brands whilst adding a competitive edge to your legal career.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
LLM
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
January or September
Subject marketing image

Intellectual Property Law at Aberdeen provides a challenging and stimulating degree for engaging with a future that lies in innovation, creativity and effective branding.

This constantly evolving field explores the key issues of control and reward in innovation and society, and focuses on areas such as literature, brands, media, health, food, agriculture, and new information technologies including 3D printing.

This LLM offers an opportunity for students to explore a range of fascinating and multi-faceted legal and societal questions across the globe, examining the benefits and challenges within corporate and economic frameworks whilst gaining expertise in an area that is extremely valuable to businesses.

The programme was designed by our intellectual property law academics alongside intellectual property law practitioners who are all experts within the field. With this combined input, you will gain unique insights into the subject and will advance your understanding of the factors that influence it. It has been carefully coordinated to align with the competencies required for today’s international job market, and also offers the opportunity to study other existing LLM courses that fit well within the programme.

The University of Aberdeen is known for attracting world-class teaching staff with international experience in their specialist subjects, meaning you will have access to first rate teaching from globally respected thought leaders.

Available Programmes of Study

Please note: Students staring their LLM programme in January write their Dissertation project during the Summer semester.

Intellectual Property Law

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Information for part-time students: This route will run over two years minimum. Candidates can take up to 120 credit points in an academic year. LS501T and PD5006 must be taken in Year 1, and LS5904 must be taken in Year 2. Candidates must take a remaining 120 credit points. At least 90 credit points must be obtained from the courses listed in the elective sections of semesters 1 and 2. The remaining credit points may be obtained from the list below or any LLM 30 credit on-campus LLM course.


Compulsory Courses

Students must take the courses:

  • PD5006: Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen
Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS501T)

This compulsory course provides students from diverse legal and educational backgrounds with a common understanding of the core research, analytical, and writing skills which would be required to excel in LLM-Taught courses. It commences with a few lectures and progresses to working in a workshop environment and finally to the submission of an individual assignment. It also incorporates elements such as library workshops to provide students with hands-on experience with the resources available for course and dissertation work.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Courses to the value of 120 credit points, at least 90 credit points from the semester 1 and 2 lists, must be selected. Remaining credit points may be obtained from any Level 5 30 credit Law course (excluding LS501E and LS551K)

International Intellectual Property: Framework and Challenges (LS502L)

30 Credit Points

Students will explore the diverse elements of law which constitue international intellectual property law. We will consider the historical development of international intellectual property rightds, framework of international treateis and organisation, copyright (with a particular focus on new developments in the digital age), geographical indications, patents and designs. Throughout the course, the challenge is to identify conflicts and synergies, and areas for future development, through regard to cases, scholarship, and the activities of policy makers and activists. Assesment is by an essay, an individual presentation adn discussion board submissions. Description: The course considers key issues relating to international intellectual property law which may vary from year to year consistent with the legal and social evolution of the fields; the course will explore copyrightt, georgraphical indiciations, patents, designs, and their relationship with regional and international treateis and international organisation; keyu themes will be drawn together in a practical presentation session.

View detailed information about this course
Copyright and Patents (LS502P)

30 Credit Points

This course is a substantive and critical analysis of two key areas of intellectual property law, copyright and patents, with a UK and European focus, and their impact on innovation and creativity. This course complements other innovation law LLM courses which focus on commercial, policy and sector matters.

View detailed information about this course
Comparative Contract Law for International Transactions (LS502K)

30 Credit Points

When international commercial lawyers work with contracts, those contracts often engage parties from multiple countries with differing legal perspectives on how to interpret that same singular contract. This course is designed to enable commercial lawyers to understand how various legal traditions provide their own unique perspectives on a variety of contractual issues. The course will explore how different aspects of contract law can lead to unexpected differences or similarities across national legal cultures, enabling an international commercial lawyer to coordinate those issues for their clients. The course will focus on a variety of European legal systems, with additional discussions drawn from transnational contract law instruments such as the Principles of European Contract Law and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

View detailed information about this course
Introduction to Corporate Finance Law (LS503N)

15 Credit Points

This is a compulsory law course for the LLM/MSc in Corporate Finance. It will provide a grounding for those who are new to law (including corporate finance law), while also offering deeper understanding to those who have previously studied law. The course will focus on key areas related to the specific field of corporate finance law in order to assist students with their studies in related courses. The course will principally focus on the laws of the UK (including English law and Scots law, where appropriate) but will also feature a notable comparative law element.

View detailed information about this course
International Commercial Arbitration (LS5083)

30 Credit Points

The demand for international commercial arbitration has increased significantly over the last 20 years. Empirical surveys conducted consistently report figures that suggest around 60% of businesses prefer arbitration over other dispute resolution methods. This course provides students with a solid understanding of how arbitration works both in principle and in practice. Topics covered include the arbitration agreement, arbitral jurisdiction, the arbitral tribunal, applicable laws in arbitration, the arbitral procedure, and challenging and enforcing awards. Change Course Description to The demand for international commercial arbitration has increased significantly over the last 20 years. Empirical surveys conducted consistently report figures that suggest around 60% of businesses prefer arbitration over other dispute resolution methods. Hence, it is becoming more and more important for law students to get acquainted with the international arbitration framework. This course explores the theoretical and practical underpinnings of arbitral law and provides students with a holistic view on different aspects of the arbitral procedure. The main substantive topics are: (1) The Role of the Seat, (2) Arbitration Agreement and Arbitral Jurisdiction, (3) Applicable Substantive Law, (4) The Arbitral Tribunal, (5) Arbitral Procedure and Evidence, (6) The Arbitral Award. The topics have been chosen to give students a good knowledge of international commercial arbitration law. The teaching pattern comprises recorded lectures and seminars at which the above-mentioned topics are discussed in depth. Besides the essential reading for the lectures, students are provided with relevant case law and different scenarios/questions for discussion at seminars. The course also provides a lecture on the introduction to international commercial arbitration.

View detailed information about this course
International Trade and Finance Law (LS508A)

30 Credit Points

This course considers issues relating to international trade and finance law and addresses the legal and commercial aspects of export-import transactions. It covers trade risks and risk assessment, the law and practice relating to international sale of goods, carriage of goods and insurance matters, international trade finance, digitalisation of international trade and international commercial dispute resolution.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Optional Courses
  • LS5588: International Trade and Finance Law
Trade Marks and Brand Development (LS5584)

30 Credit Points

This course tracks the ongoing interactions between trade mark and related laws on the one hand and the social and commercial practices of branding on the other. Through the use of cases and contemporary examples throughout, the course views trade mark and related laws within their historical, current, and developing social and commercial contexts. It offers a critical view of certain developments in the laws, their roles in and responses to the evolving practices of branding. It provides students with both an analytical and a practical view on the protection of trade mark and related rights.

View detailed information about this course
Commercialising Innovation and Law (LS5595)

30 Credit Points

Students will explore the diversity of laws and practices relevant to commercialising innovation. We will consider patents, trade secrets, copyright and database rights, new business models, competition, natural resources and activities in developing areas. Visiting speakers from practice and industry are regularly invited. In the first session, students develop an innovative idea, as a base for discussion in each session. Seminars involve individual and group work, and the preparation of posters.

View detailed information about this course
Cultural Property Issues: Law Art and Museums (LS55UU)

30 Credit Points

Taught by museum and law academics, this course will examine cultural property issues such as treasure trove, looting and repatriation, forgery, sacred and street art, and the derogatory treatment of art. Objects from the University Museum and collections worldwide will be drawn on to illustrate aspects of the course. Museum practice and operational experience will also inform certain aspects. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their own ideas. Facilitating this, the course will include a programme of case studies and/or issue papers to be presented by students for class discussion.

View detailed information about this course
Contracting in Hydrocarbon Operations (LS551K)

30 Credit Points

A good knowledge and understanding of the commercial purpose and key features of the principal contracts used in the oil and gas industry is essential for an oil and gas lawyer. This course will examine the contracts entered into between the state and the commercial actors involved in the exploration for and production of oil an gas and the contracts entered into between the oil companies themselves, and those between oil and gas companies and the contractors making up the supply chain. The course will be taught by means of a mix of lectures, seminars and interactive workshops.

View detailed information about this course
Comparative Contract Law for International Transactions (LS552K)

30 Credit Points

When international commercial lawyers work with contracts, those contracts often engage parties from multiple countries with differing legal perspectives on how to interpret that same singular contract. This course is designed to enable commercial lawyers to understand how various legal traditions provide their own unique perspectives on a variety of contractual issues. The course will explore how different aspects of contract law can lead to unexpected differences or similarities across national legal cultures, enabling an international commercial lawyer to coordinate those issues for their clients. The course will focus on a variety of European legal systems, with additional discussions drawn from transnational contract law instruments such as the Principles of European Contract Law and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

View detailed information about this course
Commercial Tax Law and Policy (LS552N)

30 Credit Points

Tax law is an integral aspect of all international commercial activities; it is crucial for commercial lawyers to have an understanding of tax law even if they are not tax lawyers. This course is a tax law course for general commercial lawyers, providing a gentle introduction to the varieties of tax laws and policies. The course enables a general commercial lawyer to understand tax law and policy discussions, both as public policy concerns and as issues related to clients' commercial matters. The course covers the basics of tax models and introduces a variety of tax law systems, such as income tax, property tax, sales tax and VAT taxes. The course also explains how tax policy can affect corporate and commercial interests, such as the role of tax law in environmental protection, in energy resource stewardship, or in corporate social responsibility. In conclusion, the course is designed for general commercial lawyers to increase their professional skills and legal knowledge related to commercial tax law and policy.

View detailed information about this course
International Arbitration: Energy & Natural Resources (LS552Z)

30 Credit Points

The complex interaction between investment protection and the sovereign right of states to regulate has been most acute in the energy sector. On the one hand, investors require strong guarantees that states will respect the “rules of the game” that constitute the basis of their investments. On the other, states can be tempted to interfere with foreign energy investments because of their particular strategic and social importance. This course aims to analyse if existing investment disciplines are adapted to the specific regulatory risks that investors face in the energy landscape of the 21st Century.

View detailed information about this course
World Trade Organisation: Gatt (LS553V)

30 Credit Points

The course aims to provide a thorough and critical understanding of fundamental concepts, principles and institutions of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), with emphasis on trade in goods (GATT). The main topics covered include relevant historical and institutional developments, WTO dispute resolution, core principles such as the non-discrimination, most-favour-nation (MFN) and the prohibition of quantitative restrictions on international trade. The security, environment, human rights, labour standards, economic emergencies and free trade areas and customs unions based exceptions and their challenges are also analytically explored. These are studied in light of relevant WTO panel and Appellate Body cases and recommendations.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

The compulsory dissertation provides the opportunity to research and explore in more detail a specific legal area of your choice.


Compulsory Courses
Master of Laws Dissertation (LS5904)

60 Credit Points

Between May and mid-August students prepare a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice related to their specialist LLM programme. Students are instructed through the delivery of a preparatory lecture, two supervisory meetings and a two hour dissertation planning workshop in a small group setting. Students are expected to spend considerable time on independent research throughout the course of the dissertation module, including; preparation of dissertation plan, amendment of plan in accordance with supervisory comments, preparation for the dissertation workshop, and, of course, in the final 10,000 word dissertation itself.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £10,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
LLM 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Students must take the course:

Critical Legal Thinking and Scholarship (LS551T)

This compulsory course provides students from diverse legal and educational backgrounds with a common understanding of the core research, analytical, and writing skills which would be required to excel in LLM-Taught courses. It commences with a few lectures and progresses to working in a workshop environment and finally to the submission of an individual assignment. It also incorporates elements such as library workshops to provide students with hands-on experience with the resources available for course and dissertation work.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Courses to the value of 120 credit points. 90 credit points must be obtained from the courses listed below. Remaining credit points from any Level 5 30 credit Law courses (excluding LS501E and LS551K):

Trade Marks and Brand Development (LS5584)

30 Credit Points

This course tracks the ongoing interactions between trade mark and related laws on the one hand and the social and commercial practices of branding on the other. Through the use of cases and contemporary examples throughout, the course views trade mark and related laws within their historical, current, and developing social and commercial contexts. It offers a critical view of certain developments in the laws, their roles in and responses to the evolving practices of branding. It provides students with both an analytical and a practical view on the protection of trade mark and related rights.

View detailed information about this course
Commercialising Innovation and Law (LS5595)

30 Credit Points

Students will explore the diversity of laws and practices relevant to commercialising innovation. We will consider patents, trade secrets, copyright and database rights, new business models, competition, natural resources and activities in developing areas. Visiting speakers from practice and industry are regularly invited. In the first session, students develop an innovative idea, as a base for discussion in each session. Seminars involve individual and group work, and the preparation of posters.

View detailed information about this course
Cultural Property Issues: Law Art and Museums (LS55UU)

30 Credit Points

Taught by museum and law academics, this course will examine cultural property issues such as treasure trove, looting and repatriation, forgery, sacred and street art, and the derogatory treatment of art. Objects from the University Museum and collections worldwide will be drawn on to illustrate aspects of the course. Museum practice and operational experience will also inform certain aspects. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their own ideas. Facilitating this, the course will include a programme of case studies and/or issue papers to be presented by students for class discussion.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

The compulsory dissertation provides the opportunity to research and explore in more detail a specific legal area of your choice.

Please note that all January Start Students must produce their Dissertation Project during the Summer Semester, preparation for which begins in January.


Compulsory Courses
Master of Laws Dissertation (LS5904)

60 Credit Points

Between May and mid-August students prepare a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice related to their specialist LLM programme. Students are instructed through the delivery of a preparatory lecture, two supervisory meetings and a two hour dissertation planning workshop in a small group setting. Students are expected to spend considerable time on independent research throughout the course of the dissertation module, including; preparation of dissertation plan, amendment of plan in accordance with supervisory comments, preparation for the dissertation workshop, and, of course, in the final 10,000 word dissertation itself.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

In September, January start students will take courses starting with LS50.


Optional Courses
International Intellectual Property: Framework and Challenges (LS502L)

30 Credit Points

Students will explore the diverse elements of law which constitue international intellectual property law. We will consider the historical development of international intellectual property rightds, framework of international treateis and organisation, copyright (with a particular focus on new developments in the digital age), geographical indications, patents and designs. Throughout the course, the challenge is to identify conflicts and synergies, and areas for future development, through regard to cases, scholarship, and the activities of policy makers and activists. Assesment is by an essay, an individual presentation adn discussion board submissions. Description: The course considers key issues relating to international intellectual property law which may vary from year to year consistent with the legal and social evolution of the fields; the course will explore copyrightt, georgraphical indiciations, patents, designs, and their relationship with regional and international treateis and international organisation; keyu themes will be drawn together in a practical presentation session.

View detailed information about this course
Copyright and Patents (LS502P)

30 Credit Points

This course is a substantive and critical analysis of two key areas of intellectual property law, copyright and patents, with a UK and European focus, and their impact on innovation and creativity. This course complements other innovation law LLM courses which focus on commercial, policy and sector matters.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £10,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

At the University of Aberdeen, you will benefit from a very personal approach to teaching. At the Law School, class sizes are kept small, so that you will have access to teaching staff whenever you need. The University adopts a range of teaching methods to ensure that you learn in a way that suits your learning style. Even when studying independently, you will benefit from having regular contact with your course coordinator and other members of the teaching staff.

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

By course work, by written examination, or by a combination of these, as prescribed for each course. The degree of LLM shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to achieve a CGS grade of D3 or above in the specified dissertation course, irrespective of their performance in other courses: such candidates may, at the discretion of the Examiners, be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

Why Study Intellectual Property Law?

Law was a foundation discipline of the University of Aberdeen in 1495. Today the Law School is considered one of the UK’s elite training grounds for lawyers - and there’s no substitute for experience. 

Intellectual Property is one of the most valuable assets in business and at Aberdeen you will have the opportunity to explore its power and learn about its challenges from activists and competitors. You will learn how intellectual property can aid and limit innovation, creativity and development, within a range of corporate and economic frameworks.

  • The School of Law is ranked Top 100 in the World by the Times Higher Education World University Subject Ranking 2022.
  • There are over 40 nationalities within the School of Law community, so you will benefit from the experiences of international students from all over the world.

Students choose to study Law at Aberdeen because of our reputation for academic excellence and unrivalled student experience. At Aberdeen, you will:

  • Gain a degree in a challenging and stimulating subject that will enable you to engage with a future that lies in innovation.
  • Develop valuable transferable skills, gain advanced knowledge and build networks upon which to base your future career.
  • Benefit from learning about intellectual property laws overseas as well as in the UK as our programme attracts students from all over the world.
  • Benefit from studying in small class sizes and have the opportunity to learn in a friendly community where you will have access to teaching staff whenever you need.

The University also has a leading Law careers service that organises events focused on providing you with the additional skills needed to make the most of your career potential.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Normally, a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Law will be required to be accepted onto this programme. Relevant practical experience in a related field will also be beneficial.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Reference
a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time you may wish to use your current or most recent employer, or another professional person

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Careers

Studying Intellectual Property Law at Aberdeen will provide you with a solid grounding for pursuing a career in the legal industries. A degree in IPL from Aberdeen could lead you to a career in law, journalism and media, international policymaking, activism, or with multinational corporations.

Local Intellectual Property is Now Global

Since the Berne Convention international students study this fascinating area of creative asset protection, entering its own revolution due to mass communication and the digital age.

We are Top 100 in the World for Law

Our Law School is ranked in the Top 100 globally, according to the Times Higher Education World University Subject Rankings 2022.

2nd in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction

We are ranked 2nd in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction in Law (National Student Survey 2021)

Our Experts

Other Experts
Professor Abbe Brown
Dr Catherine Ng
Programme Coordinator
Dr Titilayo Adebola

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch